Do you need barcodes for your products?

Do you need barcodes for your productsIf you manufacture your own products you’re probably wondering if you need barcodes for your products. The answer is, It Depends!

You technically don’t need barcodes for your products unless you are selling at the wholesale level and a store asks you for bar codes or unless you plan on selling to large retailers (like drugstores, department stores, bookstores, etc.). In the four years that I have ran my own t-shirt business, only one store has ever asked me for barcodes (a national chain of retail stores).

However, if you do find that you need barcodes, you first need to set up an account at and then use any one of their approved partners to print the barcodes for you. You can find a list here.

There are also some companies that sell barcodes directly without having to go through GS1US. I have ordered them through and had a great experience, so I highly recommend them.

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2 Comments. Leave new

Good short answer, just wanted to ask you about the size of your orders. I’m also a small brand, manufacturing clothing with a few hundred pieces per style, my styles are less than 10. I was recommended to get a bar-code, but with X amount of styles times 3 sizes, I’m looking at $750 for the cost to buy on GS1. Are resellers cheaper? What is a better alternative?


Albert, it depends. If you plan on selling to major retailers, you should invest in GS1. If you sell to smaller retailers, most of them won’t require it. I recommend waiting until a store asks you for barcodes before you sign up!


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